Greg DuPree

Move over, muffins. 

Muffin tins were created for two things, right?  We grease and flour our trusted tins in order to bake savory dinner rolls and muffins and incredibly sweet and indulgent cupcakes. However, just as we have discovered with mason jars, a muffin tin can do so much more than its intended purpose. Here are a few creative uses for muffin tins that can help you save time, prepare meals, and even organize your craft room and office.

Freeze Soup
A bowl of piping hot soup on a cold winter’s evening ranks pretty high on the list of all-time best comfort foods. A little prior planning will guarantee that soup is ready for you when the temperatures plummet. Spend a weekend afternoon and prepare a pot or two of your favorite soup(s). When it is completely cooled, spoon it into muffin tins and freeze. Pop the “soup muffins” out, store in freezer safe bags, and simply microwave two or three when you have a need for hot soup.

Bake Mini Bread Bowls
Mini bread bowls are cute vessels for dips or garnishes. Simply turn your muffin tin upside down and spread refrigerated biscuit dough over the raised cup sections. Bake according to package directions.

Freeze Milk
If you have milk, vegetable stock, or fruit juice that you don’t want to see go to waste, freeze measured portions in muffin cups, then store in freezer safe bags. They will be ready next time you make soups, smoothies, or vegetable dishes.

Serve Brunch
These lovely soufflés are perfect for a ladies’ luncheon or a small brunch. Pop them in the oven and let them bake while you put the finishing touches on the table settings.

Make Oversized Ice Cubes
For a pretty party idea, make oversized ice cubes for punches or pitchers of sweet tea. Just fill a muffin pan with citrus slices or fresh herbs, cover them with water and freeze to create fun and festive large ice cubes.

Bake Mini Meatloaves
Make a recipe for your favorite meatloaf, spoon it into the muffin tins and bake. Once cooled, remove them from the tin, place them on a baking sheet, and freeze. When they are completely frozen, store them in freezer safe bags. Simply microwave one or two as needed (or wrap in aluminum foil and heat in oven) for quick suppers or office lunches.

Freeze Oatmeal (Yes, you read that right!)
It doesn’t sound very appetizing, but read on. Make a big batch of oatmeal and flavor it the way you like—cinnamon, brown sugar, dried cranberries, etc. Let the oatmeal cool a bit, then spoon it into muffin cups and freeze, then store the individual oatmeal portions in freezer bags. Grab a couple when you need a quick breakfast and microwave. The consistency is the same as if you cooked up a fresh batch, and you will have a hearty, healthy breakfast in a matter of seconds.

Related: Cinnamon Rolls

Store Office Supplies 
Don’t throw out that old, dinted tin just yet. The muffin cup compartments on an old tin are perfect for holding paper clips, sewing pins, tacks, and other office odds and ends. Spray paint it with a bright color and give that tin a new life.